Pep Guardiola has admitted he is unsure whether Ederson will be fit for Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Liverpool on Sunday.
The Brazilian was replaced by Claudio Bravo at half-time during City’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Atalanta, but a rash challenge late into the game saw the veteran ‘keeper sent off, forcing Kyle Walker between the sticks.
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- Ederson was forced off at half-time during Man City’s 1-1 away draw against Atalanta on Wednesday night.
- Guardiola has since revealed Ederson has suffered a muscular injury and is now a doubt for Sunday’s match against Liverpool.
- Bravo came on at the interval for City but was sent off in the 81st minute for a last-ditch foul.
- Having already used both his ‘keepers, Guardiola was forced to deploy Walker in goal for the final 10 minutes.
- Guardiola will have Bravo and Scott Carson to choose from this Sunday if Ederson fails to recover in time.
Ederson’s withdrawal has prompted immediate concerns, with Guardiola uncertain as to whether he will have his first-choice shot-stopper fit and ready for Anfield this weekend.
“It’s a muscular problem,” Guardiola said. “It was a risk so we took him off as he was feeling it late in the first half.”
Quizzed on whether Ederson will be available for selection on Sunday, Guardiola replied: “I don’t know”.
Bravo’s rare appearance in goal for City ended prematurely after referee Aleksei Kulbakov sent the ‘keeper packing for a last-ditch foul on Josip Ilicic.
His 81st minute sending off was the first by a substitute goalkeeper in Champions League history, and Guardiola has now shed light on why Walker was selected for the vacant No. 1 berth.
“We didn’t know before but Xavi Mancisidor, our goalkeeper coach, suggested him for his courage and because he is quick,” he said.
“We are lucky we only conceded one shot on target when he was in goal but congratulations for the courage and desire to help the team in this position.”
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Walker also took time to reflect on his brief cameo between the sticks, explaining how he was more than happy to come away with a point.
Asked whether he volunteered or was chosen for the late goalkeeper role, Walker said: “I think it was a little bit of both.
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) November 6, 2019
“I try, sometimes, to banter the keepers in training to try and catch it, but as I found tonight that sometimes you do have to take two touches.
“All jokes aside we came here to get a point or a victory, we knew it was going to be difficult, they play man-to-man, they’re a good team, they’re in the Champions League for a reason.”